Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery” is based on the principal theme that the will of the people overcomes individual power. The story clearly illuminates the ease with which people find group-decisions, due to the fact that group-decisions reduce the personal responsibility. Additionally, it illustrates the imminent culture in which tradition is viewed as the ‘security blanket’ of the community at the expense of reason. Jackson’ story vividly demonstrates how a society can avoid independent thoughts. It is intuitive to assert that the aspect of peer-pressure is clearly depicted in this piece of writing. It is a combination of impressive lingual piece and great literary work. “The Lottery” reflects the outstanding work of literature about the negative side of the human being.
The villagers in this short story obey to the group’s will. They find comfort in following the rules that have been set for them by others. The culture is even more evident in young children, for whom “the feeling of liberty sat uneasily on most of them” (Jackson 1). The young children yearn for the school structure, the society, consequences and directions and the rules. They believe that with group-decisions and directions, they eliminate the personal responsibility that may be borne of their actions. The villagers are part of the decision making. The closing scene brilliantly reflects this phenomenon. The power of the people is well-cultivated by the lack of responsibility for the individual thoughts. Overconfidence on tradition further contributes to the lack of responsibility.
The villagers in Jackson’s short story have in several occasions sacrificed reason. Jackson’s short story is a clear criticism or condemnation for those societies that heavily rely on the irrational beliefs. Old Warner demonstrates the traditional viewpoint by all means, and illustrates the ridiculousness borne by the blind faith. When Mr. Adams mentions the story concerning one village that proposed the ending of ‘the lottery’, Old Warner says, “Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll want to go back to living in caves, nobody work anymore, live that way for a while” (4). Warner is an old man and his character illustrates his inflexibility to change. Warner’s preservation for tradition is not backed by reason, and Old Warner instead chooses to exercise blindness in the case of the interpretation of tradition. Tradition should not be an excuse for exercising irresponsibility but rather as a means of boosting morality and responsibility to the villagers.
Jackson illustrates the irrationality of the barring thoughts of individuals. In this short story, woman can be likened to that of Anne Hutchinson. Anne Hutchinson is a renowned historical figure whose persecution came as a result of her independent thoughts. In this story, Tessie stands out as an individual who does not pay